We are missing our bear cannisters – Trevor and I both slept lighter than normal last night, aware that our food (hung as best as we could) is not as safe from bear raids as it always was in the cannisters. Made worse by the fact that we heard someone at the shelter saying he saw a bear “just now” – which must mean he saw it close to the shelter where we were tenting.
Fortunately the bags were still hanging when we got up so we passed food bag survival 101, hold thumbs for tonight!
We had two climbs today, total ascend of 1385m. It was tough but though we were exhausted at the top of both climbs, we managed it without collapsing in a heap.
We hiked 24km today and tomorrow we will do only 20km. The start of the climb of our first Whites mountain is 20km away from where we are sleeping tonight. We want to tackle her when we are fresh, first thing in the morning. That means we are going to “waste” some time tomorrow afternoon, to start our climb Sunday morning instead of Saturday afternoon.
We stopped for lunch at a picturesque stream, and there were 6 other hikers doing the same. They all eventually left, but Trevor and I just sat looking at each other. Because we are only doing Moosilauke on Sunday it is pointless pushing too far today (it will just make tomorrow even shorter), so we had only about 7km more to do. But – if I am honest about it – that wasn’t my reason for not getting going. After the excitement of eventually reaching Hanover I have lost my mojo. I said to Trevor, for only the third time on this trip I wish I was rather at home…. Now you all know Trevor and would expect his typical reply to be some harsh motivational angle. But he just gave me a look and said he feels the same…..
To cheer us up we had our daily Snickers bar right there and then. I switched on my cell phone and got 2 messages. One from Barb saying Iceman says to stop worrying we will be fine in the Whites. And one from Judy (Hanover hostess) saying to enjoy the Whites, as they are spectacular. The Snickers kicked in and I felt energized as I tackled the 2nd climb, and with Barb and Judy’s messages at the back of my mind I started feeling ready for this again. The Whites is (just like the Drakensberg) something to respect and not underestimate, but it is doable (must be because a few hundred thru-hikers have already traversed them this year).
We are stelth camping next to a stream tonight. I made one of our freeze dried Mountain House meals – I try to always carry 2 or 3 and we have them when we need our morale boosted (comfort eating 😀). I am writing this while we are inside our tent in our warm sleeping bags, and ending the day both happy to be here and nervously looking forward to Sunday.
No signal so will post this tomorrow.